My thoughts recently have turned increasingly to friendship. What draws people together? Why do some people like each other (often despite imperfections), and friendships develop? I suppose having interests or hobbies in common might be one starting point, the needs of one being fulfilled by the other could be another. Sometimes opposites, as in romance, can form a successful relationship. Equally friendship can grow from another relationship, for example professional.
Of course among the most enduring friendships are those formed during childhood, but at the same time they are often the most commonly lost. Mums often become friends with the Mums of their children’s friends, thrown together by the mutual experience of mother and toddler groups, pre-school, school or outside activities, like cubs or ballet. These can also be enduring friendships and this is not surprising as we are in a vulnerable emotional, financial and physical state at this time in our lives and finding other individuals to share tea/coffee and sympathy with can lead to associations that last even past the friendships of the children.
I have been fortunate in my life to have had some very close friends, and even though we are apart, I think of them often and miss them, despite a long separation. My friend Dee in California (most definitely an opposite) is a soulmate in a way that is very hard to describe, and I feel a pain, that is almost physical, when I think of my friend Val in Wales (although I am lucky enough to see her more frequently). If I didn’t have friends nearer to home, like Paula and my sister in law Lesley, my days would be sadder and lonelier, but none of these friendships come anywhere near the intensity and depth of my relationship with my best friend – my husband Bob. This is a friendship that endures the most dramatic life experiences and offers love, security, solace and adventure in equal measures. Thank goodness for friendship.